The Piano

April 30, 2010

Happy birthday Jane Campion – 56 today.


Always On My Mind

April 30, 2010

Happy birthday Willie Nelson – 77 today.


Two talented women

April 30, 2010

One of North Otago’s talented women, restauranter Fleur Sullivan, was captured in a sylised portrait by another, Donna Demente.

The painting was joint runner up in the biennial Adam Portraiture Award.

image of contestant 


Gender job difficulties work both ways

April 30, 2010

Trans Tasman reports the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is seeking tenders for:

a project to explore and develop options enabling it to produce a toolkit to encourage women into traditionally male-dominated trades and trades training. The Ministry aims to improve women’s employment opportunities and choices, including their educational choices, job choices and ongoing training. In 2006, only 1% of all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, builders, fitter and welders, fitter and turners, and motor mechanics were women. Previous work established that the main barrier to women entering trades was women were not exposed to this option and so they didn’t consider it.

 The Ministry may not consider it its business that men’s representation in traditionally female jobs is probably no better.

One unexpected consequence of more dairying in our area  has been a greater number of women involved in farming and farm support.

Many share milkers are partnerships between couples and it’s no longer unusual to have women vets, farm advisors and fertiliser reps.

But it is still not common to find men in what have traditionally been seens as women’s jobs.

Gender discrimination won’t end until society stops regarding particular jobs as men’s or women’s and that will require greater numbers of men in what might have been regarded as women’s jobs as well as more women in what used to be regarded as men’s jobs.

That in turn requires a change of view so that occupations aren’t seen as men’s or women’s but as people’s.


It could be worse

April 30, 2010

The phrase It could be worse is not necessarily much comfort when you’re dealing with a challenge.

However, while Queenstown people are working hard to protect propery from rising lake levels it could be much worse.

This is what the centre of the town looked like in 1999:


The job would be so much easier if it wasn’t for the voters

April 30, 2010

I could feel sorry for Gordon Brown.

It can’t be easy being pleasant to people day in and day out, especially when you think they’re talking rot.

There probably aren’t many people in public life who haven’t thought that someone who speaks to them is a bigot.

Sometimes they’d be right.

And who, in public life or not, hasn’t said something about someone in private, that they wouldn’t want repeated to a wider audience?

But regardless of what they think or feel about what’s said to them,  good MPs respect their constituents.

Several years ago I spent most of two days in the National Party’s tent at the Upper Clutha A&P Show. I observed with silent admiration as Jacqui Dean, then the new MP for Otago, listened respectfully to people who gave her the benefits of their opinion on a wide range of matters, not necessarily with the benefit of facts or reason.

After one particularly obtuse bloke had finally stopped haranguing her while she listened attentively, I asked her if she wasn’t sometimes tempted to be a little less restrained.

She smiled and said something to the effect of:  “Whether or not I agree with them, whether or not they vote for me, they’re my constituents and they deserve to be treated politely.”


April 30 in history

April 30, 2010

On April 30:

313  Roman emperor Licinius unified the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.

 
132 Licinius.jpg

1006  Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appeared in the constellation Lupus.

 

1315 Enguerrand de Marigny was hanged on the public gallows at Montfaucon.

1492 Spain gave Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.

1513  Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, was executed on the orders of Henry VIII.

John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln.jpg

1651 Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, French educational reformer, Catholic saint, was born (d. 1719).

1662 Queen Mary II of England was born (d. 1694).

1671  Petar Zrinski, the Croatian Ban from the Zrinski family, was executed.

Petar Zrinski (1621-1671)
 

1789  George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

 

1794  The Battle of Boulou was fought, in which French forces defeated the Spanish under General Union.

Bataille de Boulou.jpg

1803  Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.

Location of Louisiana Purchase

1838  Nicaragua declared independence from the Central American Federation.

1864  Pai Marire warriors were defeated at Sentry Hill.

Pai Marire defeated at Sentry Hill Taranaki

1865 ex-Governor Robert Fitzroy committed suicide.

Ex-Governor FitzRoy commits suicide

1871 The Camp Grant Massacre took place in Arizona Territory.

1894 Coxey’s Army reached Washington, D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893.

 

1900 Hawaii became a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.

1900  Casey Jones died in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.

 

1904 The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair opened in St. Louis, Missouri.

1907  Honolulu, Hawaii became an independent city.

1909  Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (d. 2004), was born.

 

1925 Dodge Brothers, Inc was sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50 million for charity.

Dodge Logo

1927  The Federal Industrial Institute for Women, opened in Alderson, West Virginia, as the first women’s federal prison in the United States.

Alderson Federal Prison Camp entrance.jpg
 

1927 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford became the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, by Carol Highsmith fixed & straightened.jpg

1933 Willie Nelson, American musician, was born.

1937  The Philippines held a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; more than 90% voted in the affirmative.

1938  The animated cartoon short Porky’s Hare Hunt debuted in movie theatres, introducing Happy Rabbit.

1938 The first televised FA Cup Final took place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End.

1939  The 1939-40 New York World’s Fair opened

 

1939  NBC inaugurated its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s World’s Fair opening day ceremonial address.

NBC logo.svg

1943  World War II: Operation Mincemeat: The submarine HMS Seraph surfaced in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans and dressed as a British military intelligence officer.

 

1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide after being married for one day. Soviet soldiers raised the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building.

 

1946 King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, was born.

1947 The Boulder Dam was renamed Hoover Dam a second time.

Hoover Dam

1948 The Organization of American States was established.

1949 António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.

1953  In Warner Robins, Georgia, an F4 tornado killed 18 people.

1953 Merrill Osmond, American musician (The Osmonds), was born.

1954 Jane Campion, New Zealand film director, was born.

1956 Former Vice President and Senator Alben Barkley died during a speech in Virginia. He collapsed after proclaiming “I would rather be a servant in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the mighty.”

1959 Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1973  Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that top White House aids H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and others had resigned.

1975 Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gained control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ended with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.

1980 Accession of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

1988 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened World Expo ’88 in Brisbane, Australia.

 

1993  CERN announced World Wide Web protocols will be free.

1993 Virgin Radio broadcast for the first time in the United Kingdom.

 

1995 U.S. President Bill Clinton became the first President to visit Northern Ireland.

1999 Cambodia joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bringing the number of members to 10.

2004 U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

2008  Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.

2009 Chrysler  filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Chrysler LLC logo.svg
 

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia


Yellow Bird

April 29, 2010

Donald Mills would have been 95 today.


It Don’t Mean A Thing

April 29, 2010

Duke Ellington would have been 111 today.


Thursday’s reminder about Tuesday’s poem

April 29, 2010

A couple of days late – this Tuesday’s poem was Coverage by Tim Jones.


Just wondering . . .

April 29, 2010

. . . how difficult it is to check shirt pockets for pens before you take them off so they don’t go into the washing machine?


Why National?

April 29, 2010

Why National?  Young Country asked Justice Minister Simon Power.

He answered:

. . .  I have a fundamental belief that governments should leave people alone, and that the role of the state should be relatively small, and that the state should not be in you life more than it needs to be.

New Zealanders have this natural aversion to being told what to do by governments, both local and central, and I’m pretty much in that camp.

He was also asked to give one piece of advice to a young rural person.

His answer was:

 . . . “Don’t underestimate the impact they can have on the way governments and economies operate if they are going to step up and say their piece.”

My experience with listening to what farmers have to say, whether it is at the saleyards, pub or wherever, they tend to be understated but very, very smart. Their instincts are almost 100% right on where the country should be heading.

The other thing to remember is what good advocates farmers are. So when they come to talk about an issue with me, they have very compelling cases to make due to being well-structured and having thoroughly thought through the process.

Young Country was launched last year.

 It was a brave move, given the recession, but it seems to have hit the spot and not just with its target audience of younger country people. Lots of us not so young ones find it good reading too.

(And no, I don’t have shares in the company or work for the magazine, I’m just an appreciative subscriber).


Why fags and not booze?

April 29, 2010

The Law Commission’s suggestion of a steep increase in the price of alcohol got no traction but parliament went into extraordinary urgency to increase the tax on tobacco.

Why one and not the other?

It is possible to use alcohol in a way which does no harm to the user or others.

You can’t do that with tobacco.

The immediate increase in tax on cigarettes and loose tobacco had almost unanimous support in parliament – just four Act MPs voted against the measure.

Tobacco is price sensitive. An increase in price always leads to a decrease in use.

It impacts particularly on young people and makes it less likely they’ll start smoking.


Hunter Downs irrigation scheme gets consent

April 29, 2010

Meridian Energy has gained resource consent for the Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme.

 

The Hunter Downs Irrigation Scheme is a community irrigation proposal developed by the South Canterbury Irrigation Trust (SCIT) and Meridian.

The scheme would potentially irrigate up to 40,000 hectares of land from the Waitaki River stretching as far north as Otipua. It would provide opportunities for land use diversification, including horticulture, sheep, beef and dairy farming.

The South Canterbury Irrigation Trust was convened by the Mayors of the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils to develop sustainable irrigation solutions for South Canterbury.

The scheme would involve diverting water from the Waitaki River into an irrigation intake near Stonewall at the existing site of the Morvan Glenavy Ikawai irrigation scheme intake, 35km downstream of the Waitaki Dam.

From there the water would be pumped about 140km for delivery to farms using a pumping station, canal and pipe system.

This is similar to North Otago Irrigation Company’s scheme. It pumps water from the Waitaki to a pond then pipes it under pressure to farms. The first stage covering 10,000 hectares is fully subscribed and the company has started selling shares in the second 10,000 hectares.

The arrival of reliable water has transformed our valley and its value, not just to farms but to the district’s economy, has been highlighted by this autumn’s drought.

There are obvious gains in production but that hasn’t come at the cost of the environment. All shareholders are required to have an environmental farm plan which is independently audited every year.

The scheme has also improved water quality in the Waiareka Creek turning what was little more than a series of near stagnant ponds into a flowing stream.

There have also been social benefits. For the first time since the ag-sag of the 80s farmers’ adult children have returned home for work. There were eight houses on our road before the scheme was launched, now there are 13.

Consent for the Hunter Downs scheme is another step towards similar development in South Canterbury with a corresponding increase in economic, environmental and social benefits.


April 29 in history

April 29, 2010

On April 29:

711  Islamic conquest of Hispania: Moorish troops led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad landed at Gibraltar to begin their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andalus).

Tariq ibn Ziyad

1429 Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orleans by Jules Lenepveu

1483 Gran Canaria, the main of the Canary Islands was conquered by the Kingdom of Castile, an important step in the expansion of Spain.

1624 Cardinal Richelieu became Prime Minister of Louis XIII.

1672 Franco-Dutch War: Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

1707  Scotland and England unified in United Kingdom of Great Britain.

 1770 James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

  

1832 Évariste Galois released from prison.

 

1861 American Civil War: Maryland’s House of Delegates voted not to secede from the Union.

1863 William Randolph Hearst, American publisher, was born (d. 1951).

1864 The Theta Xi fraternity was founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

1882  The “Elektromote” – forerunner of the trolleybus – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

 

1899 Duke Ellington, American jazz pianist and bandleader, was born (d. 1974).

1901 Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, was born (d. 1989).

1903 A 30 million cubic-metre landslide killed 70 in Frank, Alberta.

 

1915 Donald Mills, American singer (Mills Brothers), was born (d. 1999).

1916 World War I: The British 6th Indian Division surrendered to Ottoman Forces at Kt in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point.

1916 Easter Rebellion: Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the rebellion was officially over with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

 

1933 Rod McKuen, American poet and composer, was born.

1934 Otis Rush, American musician, was born.

1938 Bernard Madoff, American convict, who was a financier and Chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange., was born.

1945 World War II: The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 World War II: Start of Operation Manna.

 

1945 World War II – Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 – The Dachau concentration camp was liberated by United States troops.

 

1945 – The Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro was liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces.

1946  Former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders were indicted for war crimes.

 

1952 Anzus came into force.

ANZUS comes into force

1953 The first U.S. experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

1954 Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, was born.

Jerry Seinfeld (1997) cropped.jpg

1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, British-Irish actor, was born.

A smiling man wearing a gray hat with piping above the band, and a tan Western style shirt, stands in an office, posing for the camera.

1958 Michelle Pfeiffer, American actress, was born.

1958 Eve Plumb, American actress, was born.

1965 Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) successfully launched its seventh rocket in its Rehber series.

 

1967 After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg

1968  The controversial musical Hair opened on Broadway.

Hairposter.jpg

1970 Andre Agassi, American tennis player, was born.

Andre Agassi 2005 US Clay Court.jpg

1970 Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1974 President Richard Nixon announced the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings related to the Watergate  scandal.

 

1975 Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. began to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon prior to an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war ended.

Vietnamese refugees disembarking helicopter, Operation Frequent Wind.jpg

1979  Jo O’Meara, British singer (S Club), was born.

1980 Corazones Unidos Siempre Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc. was founded.

1980 Kian Egan, Irish singer (Westlife), was born.

1986 Roger Clemens then of the Boston Red Sox set a major league baseball record with 20 strikeouts in nine innings against the Seattle Mariners.

1986 A fire at the Central library of the City of Los Angeles Public Library damaged or destroyed 400,000 books and other items.

1991 A cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 155 mph, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.

 

1992   Riots in Los Angeles  following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 53 people were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

  

1997 The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

1999 The Avala TV Tower near Belgrade was destroyed in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

CK building on fire 1999.jpg

2002 The United States was re-elected to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, one year after losing the seat that it had held for 50 years.

2004 Dick Cheney and George W. Bush testified before the 9/11 Commission in a closed, unrecorded hearing in the Oval Office.

 

2004  Oldsmobile built its final car ending 107 years of production.

Oldsmobile Logo

2005 Syria completed withdrawal from Lebanon, ending 29 years of occupation.

2005 – New Zealand’s first civil union took place.

Sourced from NZ History Online and WIkipedia.


And you thought our MPs can be unruly?

April 28, 2010

Take a look at the Ukraine parliament:


7/10

April 28, 2010

An adequate performance in this week’s Dominion Post political quiz – 7/10.

(In case you’re wondering why there’s been no post on the NZ History quiz, it hasn’t been updated).


Working Class Man

April 28, 2010

Happy birthday Jimmy Barnes – 54 today.


It’s not fair

April 28, 2010

Memo to Mr Goff:

You keep saying it’s not fair that higher earners will get more from tax cuts.

You’ve got that wrong.

Tax cuts don’t give anyone anything, they let people keep a wee bit more of the money they earn.

Spot the difference: it’s our money, not yours.

What’s not fair is what Bill English calls your twin pillars of more debt and higher taxes.

What’s not fair is spending more and taking more.

More debt is unfair to future generations, higher taxes are unfair on us now.


New Zealand Music Month challenge

April 28, 2010

New Zealand Music Month starts on Saturday.

 Anyone up for a repeat of last year’s challenge – one post a day of or on New Zealand music throughout May?


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